Q&A with Bucs Coach Jon Gruden
Q: Can you talk about what you have learned about the challenge of trying to repeat a championship year?
A: I learned a lot since I've been here. I've learned how hard it is to win a championship too, I've learned that it is not easy to endure a long season and overcome obstacles associated with winning. Obviously when you do win a Super Bowl expectations are extremely high, certainly everybody has you on the chopping block; they take great pride in defeating you. I have also learned that injuries are a big part of football - some are harder to overcome than others and penalties, hidden yardage, crunch time play making - the way we won some of the games we won a year ago - it just makes you respect winning and how hard it is in pro football.
Q: Are you struck by how similar the Giants and the Bucs' seasons have been playing out this season?
A: The penalties, mysterious losses and injuries certainly have a huge impact on a football team. But there's a lot of teams that qualified for the playoffs - some went deep into the playoffs, some went to the Super Bowl - that have all endured similar struggles. I think that is the state of the NFL right now and fortunately for the Giants, fortunately for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we have still have six games left and we have a chance to rectify some of our early troubles.
Q: How surprised are you to be 4-6 at this point?
A: Well very surprised and yet when I look at the film very optimistic that we can screw the wheels back on and find a way to get on a roll and win some games. The offense is moving the ball better than it did a year ago, we have overcome a lot of very, very difficult situations with Mike Alstott, Joe Jurvecius and our two tight ends and a couple of guys on our line. We have suffered tremendously through self inflicted penalties and 56 offensive penalties is indeed a personal record that I am associated with and it has been humiliating for us to overcome.
Q: Did your players not come back for the season hungry to win?
A: No, I think that is a real bad excuse; that is just my personal opinion. Hey, we had a great training camp and we opened training camp a week before everybody else. Every man reported on time, in shape. Our attendance in the off season program was not good, it was outstanding. I was very impressed with the way we played in the preseason and then the effort in which our players played. I am real excited about the resolve of this football team; the way they've competed every Sunday - they've been in position to win. We've just got to strap it on here. Swallow the first 10 games and really zero in on a short term goal and that is the New York Giants.
Jon Gruden Q&A
The Giants Beat Top Stories
The Giants Beat Podcast: Week 7 ReviewThe podcast team discusses a defensive slugfest as the Giants improved to 4-3 on the season.
The Giants BeatYesterday at 12:42 PM
Eli Apple's mom weighs in on Josh Brown issueThe rookie cornerback's mom wrote about her personal accounts of dealing with abuse and how John Mara ignored the 10,000 pound gorilla in the room.
The Giants BeatYesterday at 12:17 PM
Cheers and Jeers: Giants 17 Rams 10 FinalThe Giants Beat covers the cheer-worthy and jeery-worthy moments from the big win in London.
The Giants BeatTuesday at 5:18 PM
Giants offense shaky despite win over RamsEli Manning and company didn't exactly set on the world on fire over London.
The Giants BeatSunday at 5:00 PM